Example of ABC's ill-fated attempt in daytime programming. "The Frances Langford Don Ameche show" was on the air from noon to 1pm each weekday. The show lasted just six month from September 1951 till March 1952. ABC is said to have lost $20,000 each week on the show, at a time when the network was already fighting for its survival.
This is a program from Nov. 2, 1951 with special guest star Chester Morris. The kinescope has been cut down to 45 minutes, but still has the commercials of the one quarter bought by 'Richard Hudnut'.
Sickeningly sweet series, as other reviewers had said.
I think somebody in the production had forgotten this was TV, not radio. Some segments (such as the gangster sketch) make very poor use of the visual impact of the medium. Notice that on two different occasions, people walk in front of the camera when they weren't supposed to?
On an unrelated note, Frances Langford was a regular during 1950 on a short-lived show called "Star Time", which is said to have been much better. That show had featured "Bickersons" sketches, albeit without Don Ameche (Lew Parker instead played John Bickerson). Footage from the series survives...I wonder if it will ever appear online?
August 2, 2010 Subject:
Production of The Show
Don And Frances, were great on the radio. Unfortunately this show lacked a competent producer who could keep the program tight. There was too much slip shot segments where either Langford and Ameche or their guest were "winging it." It might have helped also has a sketch comedy like "The Bickersons." Which was the staple of the the duo's career together. It was a formula that worked for Jackie Gleason.
April 21, 2010 Subject:
No offense to the uploader. This was interesting to watch - once. Sickeningly sweet and trivial. Of interest is that Francis Langford's career pretty much ended after this show.
Reviewer:Archive fan -
April 20, 2010 Subject:
An off-show ? Or is this why it was cancelled?
With most of the early TV kinescopes on this site, I've found some reason to view them. There is always some spark or magic in even the weakest effort, let alone nostalgia value. As charitable and understanding as I can be, I've finally found the program from the Golden Age I can't even watch all the way through. What were they thinking when they put this nonsense together? Top-drawer talent and it goes nowhere. Even the sets look cheesy (at least cut-rate Dumont always substituted creativity and charm for a decent budget). The writing, directing, even the framing of the shots, zero. Every effort just fizzles, one after another. From the sound of it, the audience seems in as deep a stupor as I just was. Don Ameche and Francis Langford look like they want to walk into the wings, hail a cab, and get the heck out of the neighborhood. Sometimes a TV show is cancelled when it deserves another chance. Whoever gave this turkey 6 whole months to flop was really an optimist. Yow.